Health Visits for Heroes

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Dr. Ross Bethel with Masai Woman

When June rolls around, a medical team heads to Kenya to deliver three weeks of healthcare to our kids at Heroes of the Nation and the communities surrounding Nyahururu. It’s been happening every other year for eight years now, and now annual visits are on the calendar.

Under the leadership of Dr. Ross Bethel, MD, Tami McDaniels RN, and Dr. Stacey Hesterly, DDS, from the Seattle and Yakima areas of WA, teams of 12 to 15 medical professionals converge on Heroes of the Nation campus to give no-cost health examinations, treatment, minor surgeries and follow up care. Dr Bethel and Tami McDaniels have made the trip every other year for the past 8 years, raising their own funds for not only travel, but for interpreters, accommodations and food as well as $8,000 in medicine (annually). The Yakima Foursquare Church and Ellensburg Presbyterian Church have given generously to help bring the team to Heroes.  

Dr. Rick Vaughan and a young Hero

It is a moving sight; people line up for hours and hours to see the American doctors and nurses, who they say provide a higher level of care and high-quality medicine not easily available to them, and at no cost. The free medical camps are coordinated by our staff at Heroes of the Nation as well as by Bishop Weston Gitonga who is well-known in the region. Our Heroes staff makes arrangements for the team, orders and purchases medicines and supplies, reserves the locations, and hires interpreters and support staff. 

Med_Team_photoThe doctors and nurses work with patients, train Kenyan doctors and nurses while on the job, and provide continuing education for medical professionals in the area.

In addition to the medical team visits, Dr. Ross Bethel has also built a medical clinic in Nyahururu town. This clinic has become self-supporting, and includes a pharmacist and a clinical officer who see patients from the community and also provide low or no-cost healthcare to our 500 children at Heroes of the Nation.

Some exciting things are in the works as well. In 2018, Dr. Stacey Hesterly, DDS, is preparing to bring additional dental professionals to Heroes. The added personnel will enable the team to perform dental surgeries needed by our children and the people in the community. Because the team will be there for three weeks, she and her staff will have time to see patients, address problems, and provide post-op follow-ups.

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Some of the Medical Team at a Prison Visit

In addition, through relationships at the various hospitals, medical and nursing schools in the WA area, Tami McDaniels, RN, has proposed taking medical and nursing students with them to complete their field work requirements at Heroes. To learn all about our team’s past and present work, meet team members, donate, or to join our medical missions team, visit our website.

When an Orphan Comes to Heroes

HTNpics slum2.jpgAdmittance to Heroes of the Nation means things were not easy for you. Chances are, if you’ve found your way to us, it’s likely you’ve spent a fair amount of your life up until that point looking for your next meal and a safe place to sleep.  In some cases, you may have not even know your own name or your family’s name.

HTN slum.jpgWe welcome these vulnerable children, and given time, they not only relax and begin to be kids again, they start to see who they are, that their future is bright, that dreaming is a part of a healthy lifestyle, and they begin to carry hope. They become part of a strong, new “tribe” of builders and leaders, where warm, healthy meals, a loving community, and lots of new friends make the transition a quick one for most of our kids.

HTNpics (1224).jpgThe counselors and teachers at Heroes of the Nation have a special understanding of the unique challenges our kids face when they join the Heroes family. The grief. The fear. The uncertainty.  The teachers become their new parents, who guide them to the Lord, providing the love and safety that every child needs. It is within this environment of love where every child is known and accepted that the healing process takes place.

HTNpics (1145)Our young Heroes are taught about God and what He’s done in giving us Jesus. They begin to see themselves as extraordinary, set apart, fully accepted and loved by their Heavenly Father, the God of the universe! It doesn’t take long for each child to adopt the core values of Heroes of the Nation, where their Heavenly Father is always in a good mood, always loving, and very personal.

HTNpics (823)The prophet Isaiah wrote something profound a few thousand years ago in Chapter 61 that we believe applies perfectly to our children. Isaiah prophesied that Christ would preach good news to the poor, heal their broken hearts, proclaim liberty to those in captivity, and open doors for those bound in prison. He comforts those who mourn, giving them a garment of praise in exchange for the spirit of heaviness. So that they may be called Trees of Righteousness, the Lord’s planting, that He may be glorified.

Trees of Righteousness.jpgThese Trees of Righteousness are the ones who will rebuild the old ruins, raise up the former desolations, repair the ruined cities and the desolations of many generations. Everlasting joy shall be theirs! We believe and prophesy this over our Heroes, and thank God for every opportunity we have to cultivate the ground beneath them.

Visit our website to read more about our vision for Heroes of the Nation, to sponsor a child, or to partner with us  as we raise up these precious ones to take their place in the world.

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World AIDS Day

AIDS Blog PostDecember 1 is World AIDS Day–a time we consider all that has been lost to the disease and remember all those whose lives have forever been impacted by the loss of family and community from this ravager. Since 2002, Heroes of the Nation has been serving approximately 500 orphans and vulnerable children annually at its home and school in Nyahururu, Kenya. And, in any discussion about orphans and vulnerable children, the impact of HIV/AIDS is sure to come up.

The statistics are sobering: in 1985, just over 20,000 cases of HIV/AIDS were identified across every region of the world. In just 32 years, HIV/AIDS has killed more than 36.5 million people, and has infected over 76 million worldwide. Kenya, Uganda, and Mozambique are tied for the fourth largest AIDS epidemic in the world, and of immediate concern to Heroes of AIDS blog post 4.jpgthe Nation are the over 17.3 million children in Sub-saharan Africa who have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. It is estimated that over 2 million Kenyan children alone have been orphaned due to the disease, while nearly 2 million more children are extremely vulnerable, living with HIV infected caregivers.

Thankfully, HIV prevalence declines as prevention awareness is taught and medical treatment improves, but the impacts of AIDS on children, families, communities, economies and societies will accumulate for generations. So we pause today to reflect on and pray for those whose whole lives have been forever altered by this disease.

AIDS blog post 3It is a privilege to partner with the church, government,and non-governmental organizations to serve the children and families who have been and continue to be changed by AIDS. Protecting the full potential of a child requires substantial investment, experience and inspiration. We are grateful to our generous, faithful donors who allow us to continue to pursue our mission to raise each orphan into a leader with a heart of a Hero.

Visit our website to explore more about our mission at Heroes of the Nation and how you can help. 

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Where Donations go at Heroes

Cups2.jpgWith around 500 kids on campus and over 30 in college and university, donations made to Heroes of the Nation are spread thin and wide these days! Providing three meals a day for that many mouths plus giving them a special mid-morning tea and/or porridge is no small feat, and this past year it has been especially challenging as drought and famine have caused a huge increase in food prices. Our African Director, Violet Gitonga, has had to balance need and availability, but even so, the extra costs put a $22,000-dollar strain on our budget.

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A stall at the local market

We’re grateful to the men and women who barter on our behalf to provide us the best deals they can find, and they’ve had to go far beyond Kenya to find the staple foods for our Heroes–in some cases all the way to Brazil! Maize, rice, and cabbage are in the highest demand, but thanks to these faithful partners who walk beside us and make sure we have what we need, our kids never had to go without.

HTN SchoolBesides food expenses, there are significant costs associated with educating students as well. We have an amazing staff of 60-plus people, 22 of whom teach and train the children from preschool through high school. All of our teaching staff are college educated and hold various degrees from early childhood education to a Master’s degree in Biology. These dedicated people pour out on our kids daily, and are literally available 24/7 to our students, as 90% of our staff live on campus, too.
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And then there’s electricity, water, and internet access along with general repairs and maintenance of the 10 acre campus, and of course clothing and general hygiene items for our children. Imagine the soap and toothpaste needed for 500 children! Violet and her staff never cease to do the impossible with what they are given, always relying on God to provide above and beyond and in every way imaginable.

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When a donation is given, it follows a specific route. Funds that are designated for a particular need are  applied to that project only. Likewise, 100% of any money given to our child sponsorship program goes directly to that purpose. We track all donations through Quickbooks, holding back anything earmarked for specific projects, and sending out those funds as a project progresses. Gifts that are not specifically earmarked for a project or budget area are applied at the area of greatest need.Group of Boys 2006.jpg

Giving is an easy process through our wesite at www.htn.org,  and Heroes of the Nation is a registered 501(c)3 organization, so all gifts are tax-deductible. You can also help sponsor a specific child. Visit Meet the Children to learn more. And thank you for helping raise up these young heroes!

 

 

Visiting Heroes

Visiting Heroes entryEver wonder what it would be like to visit Heroes of the Nation in Kenya? 

Well, in 2017, 51 wonderful people made up three separate teams that went all the way to Kenya to love on our Heroes and to impart their own unique gifts and annointings.  

 

norway team

19 young adults from Norway were the first team to arrive this year. Besides sharing life and love with the kids at Heroes, this team painted and upgraded the playground, made repairs to the bridge, and put in new swings. Check out our recent blog post about how a young girl’s birthday gift helped make this happen! 

Team

There were 13 on the next team, who spent 8 days teaching about our kids about the love that their Heavenly Father has for each one of them.  The message of identity is central to Heroes of the Nation, and looking into the eyes of these future leaders, teachers, mothers, fathers, doctors, artists, seeing and speaking to their worth and potential was a privilege and a joy.Team 2

When April rolled around, it brought with it 19 students from Redding, CA.  This team from Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry were from all parts of the globe–China, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa and the U.S., and spent 10 days with our young Heroes, building on what the other teams had brought.  By splitting into 3 smaller groups, this team was able to teach Moral Revolution’s material on sexual purity to our grade 6 through 12 students, share the gospel and minister hope and healing to 750 inmates at a local men’s prison, minister love and healing to hundreds of residents in the local slum, and encourage 12 churches in the Maasai tribal lands near the Heroes campus. They also managed to paint 12 school rooms before they headed home.

We  also have annual Medical, Dental and Vision missions as well as  long-term mission opportunities.  If this sounds like something you’d love to be part of, we’ve got 4 short-term teams forming for 2018.  Email  info@htn.org for more information, or look us up on the web at www.htn.org to see how you can be part of what’s happening at Heroes of the Nation!

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Enjoying the updated and newly painted playground equipment. Thank you, Team Norway!

 

 

The Magic of a Smile

SmilesA smile is a thing of magic, able to spread peace, create connection, and bridge the barriers of language, age, and race. Mother Theresa said, “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” And when you see the smiles of the kids at Heroes of the Nation, it’s easy to agree with her.

In March of 2017, Dr. Magdolna Voros, a dentist in Redding, CA, decided to help our kids maintain their smiles through the donation of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss–enough for each child at Heroes of the Nation. In a place where a decent quality toothbrush may cost five or six dollars or more, and toothpaste is a luxury, to say nothing of floss, to receive these items for more than five hundred children was a great blessing.

When our Asst. Director Susie Thompson and her family went to Kenya this past March, they carried these dental supplies over in two giant suitcases filled to capacity and weighing in at 50 lbs each.Toothbrush 1

Describing how the kids reacted, Susie said, “They were amazing! When they were told about the gift, they were super excited, because gifts are not handed out often. With 500 children, there’s not many times outside of daily meals that all the children receive a new tangible item, so the kids were especially excited.”

Toothbrush 2

First to receive the dental supplies were the 320 primary school kids. One request for lining up, and zoom, they were there, orderly and in line, so happy and grateful to each receive their own small bag containing the three items (toothbrush, paste and floss). Some of them didn’t know what to do with the floss, and Susie saw them later in small groups with older children showing the younger ones how to properly floss their teeth.

Smiles were everywhere that day, and thanks to the kindness of Dr. Voros, they were shining extra bright!

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To learn what’s happening at Heroes of the Nation orphanage in Nyahururu, Kenya and how to get involved, check out our website at https://htn.org/.

 

Just a Little Thing – the story of a nine year old girl from Norway who helped kids in Kenya

A nine year old girl from Norway visited HTN and was deeply impacted by these little children without parents. She decided that, instead of receiving birthday presents, she wanted friends to donate to HTN for a new playground.

She raised enough money to fix the swings, repair the monkey bars, make a brand new seesaw and paint the playground. It was such a kind gift from a young girl! And our kids absolutely loved the facelift for their playground. Below are some fun photos made possible by the kindness of this girl.

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